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PANCAKE

Krautrock • Germany


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Pancake biography
Pancake is a classy krautrockin oddity formed by Werner Bauer. Two long time lost masterpieces have been published under this name. Roxy elephant (1975) and Out of the Ashes (1977). Their typical tripped out krautrock sound is mixed to epic heaviness, majestic arrangements and powerfully emotional songs. These albums have been recently reissued by Garden of Delights.

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Out of the AshesOut of the Ashes
Import
Phantom Sound & Vision 2008
Audio CD$19.25
$19.95 (used)
Out of the Ashes by PancakeOut of the Ashes by Pancake
Garden of Delight
Audio CD$92.54
No Illusions by PancakeNo Illusions by Pancake
Garden of Delight
Audio CD$93.64
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PANCAKE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PANCAKE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.94 | 18 ratings
Roxy Elephant
1975
3.16 | 13 ratings
Out Of The Ashes
1977
3.14 | 11 ratings
No illusions
1979

PANCAKE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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PANCAKE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 No illusions by PANCAKE album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.14 | 11 ratings

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No illusions
Pancake Krautrock

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars (Recycled from my magazine article on several Garden of Delights re-releases.)

German PANCAKE released three studio albums, each notably different. Weak debut Roxy Elephant (1975) is mostly guitar rock with WISHBONE ASH influence; Out of the Ashes (1977) was an improvement, as the keyboards were added. The vocals are perhaps the weakest link on every album, and the change to a female voice on this third album didn't much help in that matter. Biggi Zmierczak's screeching voice is very untalented to my ears.

The compositions are mostly decent. Slightly messy, synth oriented sound combines the space rock of ELOY and tight Heavy Prog. The couple of more symphonic and the longest tracks, especially 'Autumn Leaves', are easily the best ones, they bring in mind some other German bands of the time such as ANYONE'S DAUGHTER. Half of the six bonus tracks are studio leftovers, half live material, all clearly of lower quality than the album itself. 2˝ stars.

  Roxy Elephant by PANCAKE album cover Studio Album, 1975
1.94 | 18 ratings

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Roxy Elephant
Pancake Krautrock

Review by Obersturmbannprogger

2 stars There isnt much to say about this album. Its fairly uninventive, uninspired early 70s mix of rock and hardrock with a bit of Wishbone Ash style double guitar solos and vocals (sometimes out of tune, hmmm). You have heard this already many times and in better incarnation. Sound quality is very dull and mushy too. Just another very average german band full of cliche and without enough invention and technical abilities. There are some nice dual guitar melodies throughout the album and the drummer is fairly good, but overall its not enough to save this album. Only for collectors of forgotten and unknown 70s (Krautrock) groups.
 Out Of The Ashes by PANCAKE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.16 | 13 ratings

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Out Of The Ashes
Pancake Krautrock

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Second efford from this little known german band of the 70´s, with a hideous name (Pancake? Oh, c´mon!). This time there were some line up changes, with one less guitar player and a keyboardist added. Gone were also the Wishbone Ash influences. The band now played a much more krautrock sound, with soft keys (mostly Hammond organ) and nice guitar parts. The vocals are typical of that style, I mean, weak. Sometimes you wonder why they hired Rener Röhm to sing (friendship? maybe).

However, it is obvious they did evolve from their mediocre debut. The songs are much more well structured, the arrangements are more imaginative and the overall production is much better. Not that Pancake is very original: the first track Painted Rush-Hour is a Gentle Giant rip off in all aspects. Fortunatly, this and the beginning of Rainbow Suite are the only ones, for the rest of the record leans much more toward the space rock/psychedelic book of rules and in this field they are quite good, although not original nor groundbreaking. Songs like Rainbow suite and Artc Ocean are over the nine minute mark with good guitar lines, and the title track has a terrific instrumental part, reminding me of early Eloy.

In all a vast improvement over their first efford. it made me curious to hear their third album. If you´re into krautrock but ypu´re not a very demanding fan, Out Of The Ashes is recommended.

Rating: 2,5 stars that I will round up to three because I think they deserved so after such a quality leap.

  Roxy Elephant by PANCAKE album cover Studio Album, 1975
1.94 | 18 ratings

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Roxy Elephant
Pancake Krautrock

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I guess I wouldn´t be so harsh to this obscure band as Psarros, but he´s got a point. Besides, the name doesn´t help. To me, the band is interesting. Their sound definitly is more hard rock than prog, and it´s rare to find a german band at the time that has no mellotron, in fact, they dont´have any keyboards at all on this album. The musicians are good, of course, but really their songwriting here is below par. Even the best song (the title track) is spoiled by a drum solo. The remaing tracks are not bad, just plain common and full of cliches. For 1975, they were already dated with this kind of style. The band reminds me, vaguely, of a cross between early Eloy and Wishbone Ash (the dual guitar solo and vocal harmonies are especially evident on the opener Heartfire), but without the talent of either group. The results are nice most of the time, but never exciting or memorable.

It´s clear that Pancake should have taken their time to hone their songwriting skills and look for a personal sound. Certainly they had the chops, but they also had a dire need of a good producer and a better vocalist. I guess the follow ups might be better, but this one is just for fans of early 70´s hard/psychedelic rock obscurities.

Final rating: Two stars (barely).

 No illusions by PANCAKE album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.14 | 11 ratings

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No illusions
Pancake Krautrock

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars By the third album and aswell their swansong Pancake releaseing their best work IMHO, but the public was already lose intrest in the band and in prog music in general. The album released in 1979 named No illusion is aclearly changing again the sound and manner of composing, nor they left the spacey and atmospheric aproach combined with symphonic elements to amore heavy prog choice, who btw is not bad at all , really. The music is something towards hard rock with many mellotron passages, that gives in the end a pleasent heavy prog sound, but also some Eloy moments still are present here and there. Also the vocalist is no other then a female singer Biggi Zmierczak (she remind me of Jerney Kaagman of Earth & Fire fame) the range of her voice is almost the same , who did a great job here, softened the overall atmosphere giving a fairly mellow and pleasent and very good atmosphere as w hole. The best examples whre she shines are Dream Deltaland and Autumn Leaves are pretty damn' prog pieces with great musicianship, also some grandious choruses are present here with stunning arrangemets. The keybords, and more specific mellotron is almost on every piece, on 5 out of 6, that means is a great thing, they used with good measure , when needed and gviving a certain and special album.Otherwise, there are 'lots of mellotron strings on Fire And Rain Songs and No Touch Of Illusions, then more choir on Autumn Leaves ( who btw, the pieces beggins in a pure Eloy tradion, like if is taken from Silet cries and mighty echoes album) and I Try, but despite fairly heavy use the album sounds very solid and to me at least, the best out of the all 3. It's a shame that this is their final release, living aswell a good taste after listening to this album, that this band is unfairly unknown in musical circles, really, this album needs attention together with previous one. In places reminds me of Anyone's Daugher, second album, or later 70's bands form german scene like Minotaurus or Tibet. 4 stars easy for this one, more then good, and the best they ever done, and one of the most underrated albums of late '70's in prog music. Very solid and same time very good release by this obscure band. Recommended

 Out Of The Ashes by PANCAKE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.16 | 13 ratings

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Out Of The Ashes
Pancake Krautrock

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Pancake is an obscure symphonic prog band coming from Germany releasing 3 albums in the '70's. If first one was more towards rock with some Camel influences here and there , on their second release from 1977 named Out of the ashes they manage to come with a diffrent aproch of the music and the sound is now more like Eloy from that period or Pink Floyd in places, but aswell I can trace a lot of Gentle Giant similarities on couple of pieces. For ex the opening track named Painted Rush Hour is a GG clone, the same aproach, manner of composing, arraangements remind me of GG, anyway a good piece, after this tune, the album goes more on spacey atmosphere not far from Eloy and Pink Floyd in places like Rainbow Suite. Aswell the band has a lot of instrumental passages , to show that they are capable to compose complicated pieces that worth intrest of prog listners. The music is ok, nothing really ground breaking, like on Eloy or Pink Floyd (that era), but is a pleasent journey for sure overall. The voice of Rainer Rohm is ok, typical for this kind of music, he did a good job , but the drumer is the main attraction here Hand Derer (who later will join Anyone's Daugher) together with the keyboard player excellent musicians. The album was released on CD by already famous Garden of delight and even this way the band is still unknown to many, I simply can't understant why this band is so underrated here on PA, and this album and their next one are fairly good examples of good music from Germany in late '70's, I mean no vote, no reviews since mine, starange enough. So, a good album who desearve 3 stars for sure. The cover art is great.

  Roxy Elephant by PANCAKE album cover Studio Album, 1975
1.94 | 18 ratings

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Roxy Elephant
Pancake Krautrock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

1 stars This is a lost-in-time German band,widely unknown in progressive rock circles.They were found in 1974 in Winnenden,a city near Stuttgart,emerging from the psych band Nyrvana Pancake.They debuted in 1975 with ''Roxy Elephant'',an LP released by Blubber Lips Label,later re-released in CD format by Garden of Delights.What is trully of prog interest is the presence of future ANYONE'S DAUGHTER drummer Gunther Konopik behind the drum kit...

...unfortunately this seems the only thing related to prog contained in this album.''Roxy Elephant'' is (to my ears) a combination of psych and hard rock,fully-guitar oriented,but I cannot find just a single memorable moment in this one after six or seven listenings.Additionally I find the vocals to be awful and very amateur,even sometimes the members seem to sing out of tune...when the gears are a bit down I can detect rare and slight CAMEL-influenced guitar melodies,but do not expect something above average.My final feeling is that I will not return to listen to this album in the near future...might be of little interest for psych/hard rock collectors...Prog fans should simply avoid...1 star...

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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